Bad breath happens to most of us sooner or later. Studies show that 50 percent of adults have suffered from bad breath, also known as halitosis, at some point in their lives. Dr. Harry W. McCool, a dentist of Lilburn GA would like to impart some knowledge on what causes bad breath and how to combat it.
What Causes Bad Breath?
There are multiple reasons you might have bad breath. Although most stem from harmless causes, some can indicate something more serious.
Our mouths are flush with bacteria as your mouth acts like a natural hothouse that allows them to flourish. Whenever you eat, the bacteria feed on the tiny particles of food left in your mouth. This microscopic digestive process leaves a foul-smelling waste product behind that causes bad breath.
Having enough saliva is vital as it continuously washes out your mouth and if you don’t have enough, your mouth is not being cleaned as much as it should. Dry mouth can be a side effect of some medications, untreated salivary gland problems or by breathing through your mouth. Keeping properly hydrated is crucial to preventing a dry mouth. Doctors advise drinking at least 2 liters of water- eight 8 ounce bottles- per day to prevent dehydration.
Persistent bad breath that never seems to go away or a chronic bad taste in your mouth can be an indicative of advanced gum disease. Gum disease happens when sticky, cavity-causing bacteria called plaque cause your gums to become infected and inflamed.
While it stands to reason that gum disease and other mouth infections would cause bad breath, other medical conditions can cause it as well. If your dentist has already ruled out other dental or oral health issues and you follow a regular oral hygiene regimen, your halitosis could be the result of another underlying medical problem. Conditions that can cause this issue a sinus issue, gastric reflux, diabetes, liver or kidney disease as well as others. In this case, make an appointment to see your healthcare provider as soon as possible.
How Can I Prevent Bad Breath?
Brush and Floss
Brushing twice daily and flossing everyday will help rid your mouth of bacteria that’s causing your bad breath.
Take Care of Your Tongue
Be sure to clean your tongue while you’re brushing your teeth. If you stick out your tongue, you’ll notice a white or brown coating on the very back of your tongue. That’s the location where most of bacteria that cause bad breath live. You can clean them off your tongue with your toothbrush or a tongue scraper.
Over-the-counter mouthwashes can eradicate some of the bacteria or neutralize and temporarily cover bad breath. However, this will only solve the problem for a limited time until you can brush and floss again. The longer you wait between brushing and flossing, the more prone you are to having bad breath.
Clean Your Dentures
If you wear full or partial dentures, be sure to take them out at night and clean them thoroughly before their next use.
Keep Saliva In Your Mouth
You should eat healthy foods that require a good bit of chewing, like carrots or apples and keep hydrated to maintain plenty of saliva in your mouth. Chewing sugar-free gum or sucking on sugar-free candies can also help to keep your mouth moist. Your dentist may also endorse using artificial saliva if these quick fixes do not help.
Schedule Regular Appointments With Your Dentist
If you are in the Lilburn GA area and you’re concerned about what might be causing your bad breath, schedule an appointment to see Dr. Harry McCool. Regular check-ups will help Dr. McCool to spot any impending problems such as gum disease or dry mouth and stop them before they become more serious. If your your mouth is healthy, you may be referred to your primary care doctor. To schedule a consultation with Dr. McCool today call (770) 450-4407 or make an appointment online.